Apr 15, 2021 - Sale 2564

Sale 2564 - Lot 1

Price Realized: $ 2,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
John Raphael Smith, engraver; after Joseph Wright. The Widow of an Indian Chief Watching the Arms of Her Deceas'd Husband. Mezzotint, 20 x 26 1/2 inches; moderate edge wear, light creasing. London: J.R. Smith, 29 January 1789

Additional Details

The first engraving of a much-beloved 1784 painting, usually known by the simpler title "Indian Widow," which is now in the Derby Museum in England. It was likely inspired by a passage on Muscogee and Chickasaw funerary rites in James Adair's 1775 "History of the American Indians," page 187: "If he was a war-leader, she is obliged for the first moon, to sit in the day-time under his mourning war-pole, which is decked with all his martial trophies, and must be heard to cry with bewailing notes. . . . They are allowed no shade, or shelter." A stormy coastline and raging volcano can be seen in the background.